Sunday, July 31
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Roman Ordinary calendar
Book of Ecclesiastes 1,2.2,21-23.
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
For here is a man who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and to another, who has not labored over it, he must leave his property. This also is vanity and a great misfortune.
For what profit comes to a man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun?
All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest. This also is vanity.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
Letter to the Colossians 3,1-5.9-11.
Brothers and sisters: If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.
Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator.
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 12,13-21.
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”
But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”
Saint Basil (c.330-379)
monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Doctor of the Church
Homily 6, On Wealth ; PG 31,261 f.
Building other barns
“You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” This man’s behavior is more to be mocked than eternal punishment is severe. Indeed, what sort of plans are jostling within the mind of this man who is going to be taken from this world so soon? “I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones.” Now, I would gladly say to him: Well done! For the barns of unrighteousness are only worth pulling down. Destroy from top to bottom what you have built up dishonestly. Let those wheat stocks of yours, that have never brought comfort to anyone, disintegrate. Do away with all the buildings that shelter your greed, pull down their roofs, overturn their walls, expose the mouldering grain to the sun, bring the wealth imprisoned within it out of its prison (…).
“I shall tear down my barns and build even larger ones.” Once you have filled these up in their turn, then what are you going to do ? Will you pull them down to rebuild others once more ? Is this a worse madness than to be endlessly tormented: to build tenaciously and at once pull down? If that is what you want, you have the houses of the poor for your barns. “Build up treasure in heaven” : what is stored there “neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal” (Mt 6:20).
Traditional Latin Mass Readings for this Sunday
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